Why Does My Printer Have a Red Light Flashing?

If your printer is not printing and has a red light flashing, then you are experiencing a hardware error with your printer. If you would prefer to see troubleshooting solutions in a helpful video, you may access this video:

Printer Errors Video

If you open up the printer, you will see a chart displaying a list of errors, which is also located below.

Many of these are easily fixed either by making sure all the key components are locked in correctly or by replacing the paper and ribbon. The one that you want to avoid is the dreaded system error.



System errors can be the culprit of many things. The most common one is a paper jam of the entire roll or a tiny scrap from the catch tray. If the roll is visibly stuck, then forcibly wiggle it out. You may need to cut it.


System errors can also be due to paper scraps lodged within the mechanism. You can try running a foot long piece of paper through the rollers. If that doesn’t work, then I am going to recommend a method that is only for brave souls. If you are not pressed for time I recommend that you have DNP walk you through this. For this method, you will need to remove the front cover using a magnetic screwdriver. Ensure that you do not lose the screws. After you lift up the cover you will be able to better locate the scraps that are usually found near the cutter. Find and dispose of them. The cutter also needs to be on the very left. You can move it by rotating this gear until it’s in position. 



The ribbon is extremely fragile and can tear if handled incorrectly. This can be remedied by using a thin tape to patch the ends back together. Make sure it’s flush on the sides. Once done, advance the ribbon into the orange take up side a couple of times. 




If any cuts or impressions appear regularly in the same place on the prints (as in the picture below), you will need to clean the roller for any debris. 


Using the alcohol pads provided, wipe any dirt off the roller while rotating it slightly. Do not over clean. 


If there is debris that will not come off using the alcohol pad, run the sandpaper provided in the cleaning kit over the area lightly until the debris is removed. Clean the area afterwards with an alcohol pad.


If the problem persists then you might need to clean the thermal head. Make sure to only swipe from left to right when cleaning which means to do not go back and forth. This might scratch the head and damage the prints.


This cleaning should be done in tandem with blowing the back vent with compressed air every six months. 


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